CCGS Captain Molly Kool

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Vidar Viking side.JPG
As Vidar Viking
Name: Vidar Viking
Owner: Trans Viking Icebreaking & Offshore AS
Port of registry:
Builder: Havyard Leirvik A.S., Leirvik, Norway
Yard number: 284[2]
Laid down: 14 December 1999[2]
Launched: 25 November 2000[2]
Completed: 16 February 2001[2]
In service: 2001–2018
Fate: Sold to Canada in 2018
Name: CCGS Captain Molly Kool
Namesake: Myrtle 'Molly' Kool
Owner: Canadian Coast Guard
Acquired: 14 December 2018
Commissioned: 30 May 2019
In service: 2019–present
Status: In service
General characteristics (as built)[2]
Type: Icebreaker, AHTS
Displacement: 6,872 tons (maximum)
Length: 83.7 m (275 ft)
Beam: 18 m (59 ft)
  • 6.5 m (21 ft) (icebreaking)
  • 7.22 m (24 ft) (maximum)
Depth: 8.5 m (28 ft)
Ice class: DNV ICE-10 Icebreaker
Installed power:
  • 2 × MaK 8M32 (2 × 3,840 kW)
  • 2 × MaK 6M32 (2 × 2,880 kW)[3]
  • 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph) (maximum)
  • 12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) (service)[3]
  • 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph) in 1 m (3 ft) level ice
Crew: 23
General characteristics (after conversion)[4][5][6]
Type: Medium icebreaker (CCG)
Ice class: Arctic Class 2
Speed: 11 knots (20 km/h; 13 mph) (service)
Range: 11,000 nautical miles (20,000 km; 13,000 mi)
Endurance: 42 days
Crew: 19 (9 officers, 10 crew)
Notes: Otherwise same as above

CCGS Captain Molly Kool is a Canadian Coast Guard converted medium class icebreaker.[7] She was originally built as an icebreaking anchor handling tug Vidar Viking for Trans Viking Icebreaking & Offshore AS in 2001.[8][9] The vessel was acquired by the Canadian Coast Guard in August 2018 and was commissioned in May of the next year after refit.

CCGS Captain Molly Kool has two sister vessels, CCGS Jean Goodwill and CCGS Vincent Massey, both of which are converted offshore vessels.


CCGS Captain Molly Kool is 83.7 metres (275 ft) long overall and 77.77 metres (255 ft) between perpendiculars. Her hull has a beam of 18 metres (59 ft) and moulded depth of 8.5 metres (28 ft). At design draught, she draws 6.5 metres (21 ft) of water, but can be loaded to a maximum draught of 7.22 metres (24 ft) which corresponds to a displacement of 6,872 tons.[3] Built to DNV ice class "ICE-10 Icebreaker", she has been rated as Arctic Class 2 in Canadian service. Originally she was served by a crew of 23, but this has been reduced to 19 (9 officers and 10 crew) when the vessel was acquired by the Canadian Coast Guard.[2][6]

CCGS Captain Molly Kool has four medium-speed diesel engines geared to two controllable pitch propellers in nozzles. She has two eight-cylinder MaK 8M32 and two six-cylinder MaK 6M32 diesel engines rated at 3,840 kW (5,150 hp) and 2,880 kW (3,860 hp) each. With a total propulsion power of 13,440 kW (18,020 hp), she can achieve a maximum speed of 16 knots (30 km/h; 18 mph) in open water and break 1-metre (3.3 ft) ice at a continuous speed of 3 knots (5.6 km/h; 3.5 mph). In addition, she has two bow thrusters (one fixed, one retractable and azimuthing) and one transverse stern thruster for maneuvering and dynamic positioning.[2]


Vidar Viking (2001–2018)[edit]

In 2004, Vidar Viking acted as the drillship for the Arctic Coring Expedition (ACEX) in the high Arctic. The vessel remained on location in the multi-year polar ice pack for nine days while being supported by the Swedish icebreaker Oden and the Russian nuclear-powered icebreaker Sovetskiy Soyuz.[10]

In late January 2010, the Swedish Maritime Administration called for Vidar Viking and Tor Viking to serve as icebreakers in the Baltic Sea.[11] The vessels were chartered on a contingency basis — where Trans Viking's parent company, Transatlantic, receives a basic flat fee for the vessels to be available within ten days, without regard to whether they were used. Their previous usage was in 2007. The contract expired in 2015.

In February 2010 Balder Viking, Vidar Viking and Loke Viking were chartered by Edinburgh-based oil company Cairn Energy for four months, starting in June 2010, for drilling operations in Baffin Bay.[12]

In 2012, the Swedish Maritime Administration agreed to end the charter for Vidar Viking prematurely for the 2011–2012 Baltic Sea icebreaking season and all subsequent seasons. The vessel then provided icebreaking services for the Estonian Maritime Administration for one winter season before heading to Sakhalin where she provided icebreaking, supply and anchor handling services starting from summer 2012 for Sakhalin Energy Investment Company Limited. After six months, she was reflagged to Russia and her crew changed to Russians.[13][14] Vidar Viking was reflagged to Danish International Register of Shipping in 2016 and to Norway in 2017.

CCGS Captain Molly Kool (2018–present)[edit]

In 2016, Davie Shipbuilding began offering Vidar Viking and her sister ships as a replacement to the ageing Canadian Coast Guard icebreakers under the moniker Project Resolute.[15] In addition to the three Swedish icebreaking offshore vessels, the offer also included a fourth slightly bigger and more powerful vessel: the US-flagged Aiviq.[16] On 10 August 2018, Viking Supply Ships announced the sale of its three vessels to Her Majesty the Queen in Right of Canada for $274 million.[17] [18] Once retrofitted at Davie Shipbuilding, the vessels are expected to remain in service in the Canadian Coast Guard for 15 to 25 years.[19][20]

The vessel was the first to be ready to undertake Coast Guard missions.[21] She had been repainted in Coast Guard livery on 13 November 2018. Some of the modifications the Coast Guard plans for the vessel, and her sister ships, were deferred, so that she could be employed ice-breaking in the St Lawrence estuary during the winter of 2019.[22] In particular, one highly visible deferred item will be the addition of a landing pad and hangar for a light utility helicopter.

CCGS Captain Molly Kool was named after Captain Myrtle (Molly) Kool (1916–2009), born in Alma, New Brunswick, who was the first female licensed ship captain in North America. She was also the first female deep sea Captain in North America. At the time, she was only the second woman in the world to hold that achievement. Having grown up spending her summers sailing with her father in waters in and around the Bay of Fundy, Molly learned about life at sea and became an accomplished sailor. After high school, Molly convinced the Merchant Marine School in Saint John, New Brunswick to admit her as a student. She would obtain her Mate's certificate in 1937. In 1939, she obtained her coastal Master's Certificate and graduated from the Merchant Marine Institute in Yarmouth, Nova Scotia.[6]

On 22 March 2019, Captain Molly Kool and CCGS Louis S. St-Laurent were dispatched to aid the tanker Jana Desgagnes which had damaged a rudder in heavy ice 16 nautical miles (30 km; 18 mi) southwest of Port-aux-Basques, Newfoundland. Captain Molly Kool towed the vessel further out to sea to await the arrival of a tugboat, which would take the tanker to Sydney, Nova Scotia for repairs.[23] During the operation, Captain Molly Kool used her towing notch, a feature not present in other CCG icebreakers currently in service, to escort the stricken tanker through the ice.[24]

CCGS Captain Molly Kool was officially commissioned into Canadian Coast Guard fleet on 30 May 2019.[25]


  1. ^ "Vidar Viking (9199646)". Equasis. French Ministry for Transport. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Captain Molly Kool (21805)". DNV GL Vessel Register. Det Norske Veritas. Retrieved 24 March 2019.
  3. ^ a b c "Vidar Viking (9199646)". Sea-web. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Icebreakers Backgrounder". Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Project RESOLUTE Briefing" (PDF). Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  6. ^ a b c "CCGS Captain Molly Kool". Department of Fisheries and Oceans. Retrieved 25 January 2019.
  7. ^ Coast Guard takes possession of new icebreaker named after pioneer Molly Kool. CTV News, 14 December 2018. Retrieved 2018-12-15.
  8. ^ "AHTS/Icebreaker Vidar Viking - Main Characteristics". Archived from the original on 21 November 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
  9. ^ "Vidar Viking". Arctic Logistics Information And Support. Archived from the original on 2 August 2008. Retrieved 1 February 2009.
  10. ^ "Expedition 302 Arctic Coring". European Consortium for Ocean Research Drilling. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  11. ^ "TransAtlantic's icebreakers are called in for icebreaking in Baltic Sea". PR Inside. 29 January 2010. Archived from the original on 18 February 2010. TransAtlantic has a long-term contract with the SMA, which entails that the vessels must be available during the first quarter of the year as required and within ten days for icebreaking in the Baltic Sea. In return, Transatlantic receives an annual basic fee, regardless of whether icebreaking is conducted or not. If icebreaking is conducted, the fee is increased. The contract expires in 2015, with an option to extend for an additional 15 years.
  12. ^ "TransAtlantic signs contract for three of its offshore vessels". Trading Markets. 16 February 2010. Archived from the original on 18 February 2010.
  13. ^ Russia: Sakhalin Energy Hires Vidar Viking AHTS. Offshore Energy Today, 26 December 2011. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  14. ^ Viking Supply Ships and Sakhalin Energy start cooperation. Viking Supply Ships, 30 April 2012. Retrieved 21 July 2018.
  15. ^ Pierre LeBlanc (2 January 2018). "An Out-of-the-Blue Icebreaker Opportunity". Maritime Executive. Archived from the original on 7 January 2018. Retrieved 28 November 2018. Although counter-intuitive, the need for more icebreaker when there is less ice is because the Arctic ice starts moving around early and throughout the shipping season causing largely unpredictable ice dams. This is already reported by the Coast Guard and the marine companies resupplying the Canadian Arctic communities.
  16. ^ "Project Resolute" (PDF). Davie Shipbuilding. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  17. ^ "Viking Supply Ships". Retrieved 11 August 2018.
  18. ^ Blenkey, Nick (13 August 2018). "Viking Supply confirms sale of icebreaking AHTS trio to Canada". MarineLog. Simmons-Boardman. Retrieved 1 May 2019.
  19. ^ "Canada Buys Commercial Icebreakers for its Coast Guard". Maritime Executive. 13 August 2018. Retrieved 15 August 2018. On Monday, Norwegian harsh-environment OSV operator Viking Supply Ships announced that it has sold three icebreaking anchor handlers to the government of Canada, which will retrofit them for use by the Canadian Coast Guard (CCG).
  20. ^ "Canada to Use Interim Icebreakers for Around 20 Years". Maritime Executive. 23 October 2018. Retrieved 24 October 2018. The Canadian Press reports that there are no immediate plans to replace the Coast Guard's existing vessels which are on average more than 35 years old.
  21. ^ Ian Keddie (26 November 2018). "Canadian Coast Guard prepares for first Chantier Davie icebreaker". Jane's Defence Weekly. Toronto. Retrieved 28 November 2018. The ex-Vidar Viking icebreaker was floated out of Davie's Champlain drydock on 13 November with a fresh coat of paint in CCG colours.
  22. ^ Vincent Groizeleau (20 November 2018). "Le brise-glace Vidar Viking aux couleurs de la Garde Cotiere Canadienne" [Davie: Vidar Viking Icebreaker in Canadian Coast Guard Colors]. Mer et Marine (in French). Archived from the original on 28 November 2018.
  23. ^ "Coast guard helping adrift tanker carrying 8M litres of fuel near southwest Newfoundland". CBC News. 22 March 2019. Retrieved 23 March 2019.
  24. ^ @CoastGuardCAN (22 March 2019). "4/4 #CCGLive: CCGS Captain Molly Kool used its unique towing notch configuration to keep Jana Desgagnes safe while awaiting commercial tug assistance. This is an example of our renewal efforts in action to modernize the fleet and bringing new capabilities to the Coast Guard" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  25. ^ "Canadian Coast Guard welcomes first Coast Guard icebreaker in 25 years, CCGS Captain Molly Kool" (Press release). Canadian Coast Guard. 30 May 2019. Retrieved 30 May 2019.